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Not Good Enough, Not This Time

by Mark Riley posted Sep 14 2011 11:56AM

Let's see if we can make this real simple. The Republican Party would rather see a large chunk of their fellow Americans  remain unemployed and suffer in the wake of natural disaster than take steps to help. The federal poverty rate is 15%, the highest its been in years, 15 million people are unemployed, and nearly 9 million underemployed, but congressional Republicans would rather see them stay that way than raise taxes on the wealthy by a dime. From New Jersety to Texas, hundreds of thousands are coping with the damage of Hurricane Irene, subsequent flooding, and wildfires. Yet the Senate can't see its way to cough up a relatively small allocation to help these folks through FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Nice.

Still, the Republicans chant their mantras. No tax increases for their friends (the wealthy), while crowing that keeping taxes low will somehow create jobs, jobs that haven't been created even as the rich continue to benefit from the Bush tax cuts. One could easily conclude that they're trying to thwart the Obama agenda in any way they can, for whatever reason they can conjure up. But when you think about it, that's their job, as they see it. They want the White House and at least one house on Congress because they have an agenda if they win in 2012. The question is, where's the agenda to counter theirs, and where are the people to fight for it?

Say what you will about the Tea Party, they've made themselves such a force in US politics that CNN (!) jointly hosted a Republican presidential debate with them. That may be a bigger shame for CNN, but there's still a lack of cohesion in progressive ranks that must be addressed if there's to be any hope of a jobs creation bill becoming law. Too often we tend to complain about what Obama isn't doing for us, and not enough about what we need to do for ourselves, regardless of who is president. Even though its not perfect, we've got a jobs bill and the opposition has nothing. The longer they whine about the need to pay for every expenditure (especially disaster relief) with a cut, the louder we should be about their utter lack of humanity, even to those who support.

Those who want to see progress in America are going to have to fight for it. Now is the time to throw hands.

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Location : Texas
09/14/2011 11:56AM
Not Good Enough, Not This Time
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09/19/2011 5:41PM
Dear Mark, Forgive me - this is not in response to your excellent blog, but to a call you had this morning from a caller (Bob, I believe)who was quite exercised about the fact that the various proposed tax reductions would, he said, amount to raising taxes for the middle class. He felt that the Democrats had sinned by not mentioning this anywhere. My understanding - and of course I could be wrong - is that the proposed tax reductions would apply ONLY to people in the upper brackets who earned MORE than $250,000. Bob was so distressed - in his usual articulate way - that I felt impelled to mention this to you. Something else I would like to mention is this: I love your show, and I thank you for it. Best wishes, Lee Meagher
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